10% Happier – Dan Harris – Book Review

Will meditation change your life and leave you the rounded and complete person you truly know you are in your soul? Nah but it might make you 10% happier. I think Dan’s full title sums the book up nicely

10% Happier – How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story

I read this book a little while ago and have been meaning to write a review for a while. I think its the perfect introduction to meditation for a skeptic written by a skeptic. It documents Dan Harris, some big american news guy’s, journey into meditation which sprung from him having a panic attack live on air. This was a guy who has no time for that mumbo jumbo spiritual hippy crap and ended up taking up a regular meditation practice which he believes has made him 10% happier. The story bravely takes him from Iraq to drink and drugs to panic attack to being more in control & chilled person without loosing his edge. It then finishes nicely with some basic meditation practices. Its no nonsense and doesn’t revere iconic guys in the new-age sphere which I really love and leaves the guy quite naked at times. I really enjoyed the book and especially the path that he ended up walking down kicking and screaming all the way.

So why 10% happier and is it worth it.

First of all 10% is a huge amount, its not 10% for a minute or an hour its 10% every day from here on through. That is a crazy improvement or at least it was for me. But how? Well meditation certainly leaves you more chilled, and after a while it gives you the ability to notice your self thinking then you start to notice emotions coming up. I know it doesn’t sound so spectacular so far but it gives you the tiniest of windows of opportunity to choose how you to react to things where you normally wouldn’t of had a choice and that my friends is simply amazing.

If that wasn’t enough if you do react badly its much easier to pull yourself out of the darker place that you fall into.

Another great book and well worth a read if you’re either just looking to find out what the meditation stuff is all about or if you’ve been taking to the safu for years. If you fancy giving it a whirl the links to amazon are below.

10% Happier Book Cover 10% Happier
Dan Harris
Self-Help
It Books
2014-03-11
256

Nightline anchor Dan Harris embarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality and self-help, and discovers a way to get happier that is truly achievable. After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure, involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, Harris realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head, which had both propelled him through the ranks of a hyper-competitive business and also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out. We all have a voice in our head. It’s what has us losing our temper unnecessarily, checking our email compulsively, eating when we’re not hungry, and fixating on the past and the future at the expense of the present. Most of us would assume we’re stuck with this voice – that there’s nothing we can do to rein it in – but Harris stumbled upon an effective way to do just that. It’s a far cry from the miracle cures peddled by the self-help swamis he met; instead, it’s something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation. After learning about research that suggests meditation can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain, Harris took a deep dive into the underreported world of CEOs, scientists, and even marines who are now using it for increased calm, focus, and happiness. 10% Happier takes readers on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of America’s spiritual scene, and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives.

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10% Happier - How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story- Dan Harris
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